Caring for loved ones living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias requires much patience, understanding, and knowledge of how to help individuals live their best each day. Given the nature of this disease, being the brain itself is injured and increasingly becoming impaired in overall function, we celebrate when we find measures that are helpful in bringing comfort, joy and even success in care outcomes that can be easy to duplicate regardless of the care setting.
Reminiscence Therapy in one such measure. With Alzheimer’s disease, we remain aware of our long term memories far deep into the disease process. When pleasant experiences from the past are re-presented to us, we are flooded with the same joy and connection all the wonder and excitement as if they were happening in the present, even more so than for those of us who are not memory impaired.
The link to the article above will help you begin a few simple reminiscent therapy techniques. You may find you enjoy this activity yourself as much as your loved one! I have heard so many beautiful stories from family members and care givers once they began to include a daily plan of reminiscing. Perhaps the most poignant one of all was a dear Mother who told her daughter recently, “Thank you for helping me to remember!” as her eyes twinkled and she gave her a purposeful hug. The daughter went on to share hugs from her mother had become a rare item in her current disease process.
May you find joy as you cross the bridge of time together and share sweet memories!